The Fresh Loaf

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Today's ciabatta

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Skibum's picture
Skibum

Today's ciabatta

I tried Jason's Quick Cocodrillo Ciabatta on the weekend and was less than impressed with my result.  The loaf spread out rather than sprang and I suspect insufficient gluten development.  My previous bake at the same hydration turned out great, but had both dairy and honey as part of the liquids.  I want to nail a proper ciabatta, so decided to make some changes to Jason's basic recipe.  First I used half whole buttermilk in the liquid, reduced the amount of semolina and as I don't have a lot of experience working with very wet doughs, cut the hydration to 85% and cut the recipe in half, so I can bake a loaf a day and get the hang of things.

My procedure was to mix all but the salt and instantant yeast until combined, then autolyse for 20 minutes, pouring 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough.  I then added the salt and instant yeast and mixed well for 2 minutes, 5 minute rest followed by a bit of a messy stretch and fold for 2 minutes on an oiled countertop with oiled hands and using an oiled dough scraper to remove the dough from the counter.  After a 10 minute rest I began a series of 4 stretch and folds with 10 minutes rest as per PR in ABED.  After the fourth fold, I let the dough bulk ferment for 1:15 or so and then a final stretch and fold.  After 1 hour on the counter the dough went into the fridge for the night.  I baked in the am after 3 hours out of the fridge and did a very gently letter fold os per PR in BBA and proofed for 45 minutes on a piece of bakers parchment, trimmed closely to the dough and supported by a well floured linen couch, then baked as per hearth baking, steaming using that wonderful towel method.  The result was most satisfying and perhaps the most attractive and tasty loaf I have ever produced, but I say that usually say that after every bake . . .

 

Today, I am mixed the same formula at 90% hydration and had good gluten development after the 2nd fold and excellent windowpane after the final fold following the 1 hour bulk ferment.

I will post the results of the 90% hydration ciabatta after tomorrows bake and mix a 95% version using the same formula.

Formula

50 g durham semolina

200 g strong bread flour

113 g whole buttermilk

100 g water

1 tsp, 8 g salt

1 tsp, 2 - 3 g instant yeast

1/2 Tbs olive oil

Happy baking folks!

Brian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

it up to Sylvia's Steam!!!  Just kidding :-)  You made some wise, well thought out choices for this ciabatta bake and it really paid off for you.  Nice going.  Successful baking is all about wise choices and not scrambling around at the last minute to fix something gone terribly wrong.    Your bread looks teriffic inside and out,

Bake on.

isand66's picture
isand66

Very nice looking Ciabatta.  Looks like you achieved a nice open crumb and dark crust.  I like the addition of the buttermilk. and semolina which I love to use in a lot of my bakes.

Great job.

Thanks for sharing.

Check out my recipe for Ciabatta if you want to try something a little different using similar technique at: http://mookielovesbread.wordpress.com/category/ciabatta-2/

 

Skibum's picture
Skibum

First of all thanks for the kind words dabrowman and island66, it is most encouraging!  I have looked at both of your blogs and all I can say is wow twice!

The recipe and procedures here are the same, I just upped the hydration to 90%.  The autolyse ran to 30 minutes (in the shower), but I think the longer autolyse may help with the dough development.  This has been an enjoyable project with tasty bread.  I will mix another batch today at 90% and bake in the morning.  I still need more work with the high hydration doughs.  There were a few 'pockets where the baker slept' in this last loaf.  I will see if I can gently minimize these in my next bake.

Time to start today's bake!

Regards, Brian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

While you continue to make wise choices at making great bread. I'm afraid I can going in the opposite direction decision wise - 100% white spelt, at 78% extraction, at 100% hydration.  I'm pretty sure that  this will end up as a ciabatta even if it is baked in DO.  Thanks for the blog shout out too.

You have that perfect dark crust down pat that we love so well and that crumb is a duesy too.

Bake on.

Skibum's picture
Skibum

First of all thanks for the kind comments dabrowman.  Yours sounds like an intimidating bake actually and I hope to see your results!

I was going to call this post learning from your mistakes, but this mistake worked out so well it will become my standard operating procedure. I mixed another 90% ciabatta as above with a 30 minute autolyse after which I added the instant yeast and salt, mixed for 2 minutes which I followed by a 5 minute rest. It was at this point that I realized I hadn’t added the olive oil, so I poured it over the dough  and began to mix. Of course, not all of the oil incorporated easily, so I oiled my fingers on the bowl and folded the oily dough on an oiled countertop about 8x until the dough really began to stick to my fingers, then back into the oiled bowl for a 10 minute rest. I then began a series of 4 S&F’s as per ABED, followed by a 1:15 bulk ferment and a final S&F. After 1 hour on the counter it was into the fridge to retard overnight.
Through this mornings bake the idea of the Skibum Ciabatta Project took hold with me and I thought it would be interesting to do another 90% hydration recipe with NO dairy to compare the difference in working the 2 doughs batches.  I thought, I can mix and autolyse for 1 hour while the dairy loaf is doing it’s bulk ferment. The no dairy mix was quite a bit harder to work with, absorbing the olive oil completely in the 1st S&F. After 4 folds, the dough did not pass the windowpane test to my satisfactgion, so I added 2 more folds and got an acceptable but sketchy result. The dough is now doing a 1:20 bulk. I decided to add the extra time at the hour, then a final S&F, an hour or so on the counter and then into the fridge.
Conclusion: adding dairy makes wet dough’s WAY easier to work with and I like the flavour kick. Oh yes, I just realized my hydration percent calculations did NOT included the olive oil, so the additional 5.5 grams of olio takes the hydration of this small recipe up a couple of points.
I have most enjoyed eating the bread these recipes have produced and have greatly enjoyed the entire process. It has been another great yummy learning experience, my favorite kind!  Tomorrow morning will be oven TV, followed by a taste and crumb comparison. My neighbours will be really happy again, because I cannot eat all of this by myself.

I wish all TF Loafers great baking.  May your next loaf be the best loaf you have ever baked!

Bake ON!  Brian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and learning something useful and new pales in comparison to eating great bread that you made yourself and sharing ti with family and friends.  My 100%^ Spelt and Hydro bread ended up being a hockey puck.  It is on the stone crisping with the oven door open.   It spread with no spring in the DO.  Oh well we will look at the inside when it cools and have some for lunch anyway.

It rose pretty well in the basket while in the fridge for 12 hours bit as soon at it what transferred to the DO it just deflated.  These 100% hydro breads need to be baked in a loaf pan or as ciabatta :-)

Your baking continues well and perfecting a recipe before moving on is a wise thing - especially one that has a high hydration like ciabatta.

isand66's picture
isand66

Oil is not absorbed by flour so it usually is not included in the hydration.    I wouldn't be so hung up with the window pane for a ciabatta dough as usually this style Of dough is meant to be slack.

Skibum's picture
Skibum

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the oil, makes sense and also your comment about the windowpane in ciabatta not being critical.  The wet no dairy loaf turned out fine and I will ost photos as soon as I can upload.

Regards, Brian

Skibum's picture
Skibum

First of all sorry about your 100% spelt 100% hydration bake dabrowman.  It sounded like a pretty intimidating project to me, but hey it is fun to push the limits of wht we do -- in all activities!  I agree about the sense of accomplishment.  I have been mighty happy with the results of this project and thank you for your support!

I did a side by side bake today of the 90% hydration ciabattas I mixed yesterday and the results are in.  The results are both interesting and most educational.  Check it out:

The half dairy loaf is on the right.  I love how the letter fold end bloomed into an ear on the non dairy loaf!  I may have over handled the dairy loaf, but I am learning.

Ciabatta containing half buttermilk as part of liquids.  Nice crust, crumb and flavour and easy to work with at 90%.

No dairy in this baby!  I found this dough to be much more easily extensible in the final shaping.  Although more difficult to work with initially, the longer autolyse and extra S&F's resulted in a loaf with better oven spring and a more open crumb.  Great flavour too by the way!

Crumb comparison

Conclusions:  dairy makes wet dough easier to handle, but results in a somewhat tighter crumb.  My winning pick in the ciabatta vs ciabatta is the non dariy version and will be my go to ciabatta recipe.  I am giving it a rest for a couple of days but will do the bake again a few times and inch the hydration up slowly.  It is nice to bake every day now that we have cooler weather.  I am a cold weather person and baking in peak summer just gets the house too hot.

My go to summer loaf was PR's transitional whole wheat from WGB.  They were mighty tasty sandwich loaves for the trail and river, but a pretty dense crumb.  Based on what I have leaarned on my ciabatta project, I have decided to re-visit this recipe and cut the WW to 25%, cut the dairy in half and up the hydration from around 80 on my last bake to 87%.  I will also bake this as a hearth loaf and my hope is for the nutty WW flavour but a much less dense and open crumb.  Oven TV again tomorrow am.

I my local deli the other day they were offering chocolate hazelnut crunch which looked sort of like biscotti, so I searched TFL and came up with Dave's double chocolate, hazelnut, chipotle biscotti, which I tried today.  Oh my!

Here is the link to this yummy recipe:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25765/chocolatechocolate-chiphazelnutchipotle-biscotti

I hope you all enjoyed your bake today as much I did mine!  Bake ON

Brian

isand66's picture
isand66

Nice experiment....I would have bet the non-dairy version would come out better.  Ciabatta is best done as a lean dough if you want those big and light holes.  Both look like they tasted great anyway.

I look forward to reading about your next experiment with the transitional loaf.  I have been baking a lot of multi-grain breads with soakers lately.  There are so many variations you can try, the sky is the limit.  I've now started to grind some of my own flour in small batches and I'm experimenting with different grains. 

The biscotti looks terrific....could use one of those now for sure!

Have a great weekend.

Regards,
Ian

Skibum's picture
Skibum

I took this latest batch of dough our of the fridge at 7 and checked it at 9.  I was amazed to see that the dough had more than tripled in size, much larger in volume than my previous bakes and the only material difference was the addition of 1 Tbs honey.  I was going to shape a boule or batard, but the dough was screaming out ciabatta to me and how could I resist?  

I autolused for 40 minutes then added the yeast, mixed for 2, 5 rest, added the olio, mixed briefly, then turned the dough out onto an oiled counter and began to S&F for a couple of minutes until the dough got quite sticky, then into the bowl for 10 minutes rest, followed by 4 S&F's with 10 minutes between.  I added the salt before the 3rd fold.  The dough had become quite easy to work with and extensible at the point, so I stretched out a 5"x24" flat of dough and sprinkled the salt evenly over the dough.  I then rolled up the strip of dough like a jelly roll and repeated this 3 times to mix the salt.  Then it was S&F as normal the 3rd and 4th, a 1 hour bulk ferment followed by a final S&F, bulk on the counter for an hour or so, then into the fridge to retard.

This loaf provided the best oven spring of any loaf I have ever baked.  Other than the honey my oven was still hot when I cranked to 500 F for the bake.  It is a small oven, (24") and I usually only heat the stone for 30 minutes, today I went the full 45 minutes.  When I did the turn at the half, I thought the loaf had collapsed.  Upon closer inspection, the letter fold literally exploded, forming a large grin the length of the loaf:

  

My goal had been to get a lighter crumb in a transitional loaf.  I accomplished that goal well beyond my expectations!  Next step, same formula but replace the whole wheat with semolina.

Formula

75 g whole wheat flour

225 g strong bread flour

100 g whole buttermilk

160 g water

1/2 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs honey

1 tsp salt

Bake ON TF Loafers!

Brian

Skibum's picture
Skibum

Same recipe as the 25% whole wheat.  I really liked this flavour of this bread, with the semolina bringing a soft nutty sweetness to the crumb and just what I was looking for in a sandwich bread.  This formula is definetely a keeper!  I spent a little more time gently pressing the top letter fold into place and rolled the loaf very gently to get rid of the really big gas pockets.  perhaps I handled the dough a bit too much, but was still delighted with the result:

Bake ON!  Brian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

real nice color on this one that only semolina can provide and that pale yellow crumb color is always a treat.  Really nice spring too even though the holes aren't huge.   That is some nice bread Brian.

Bake on!

Skibum's picture
Skibum

dabrowman, it was fine tasting bread and is now part of the full baking rotation!  I definitely over handled the semolina loaf, gentle as the handling was.  At first I looked at the fold seam breaking open as a flaw, but I prefer the the more open crumb you get, when the seam breaks open into a grin.

For todays variation, I used 1 Tbseach whole wheat and semolina and bread flour to 300 grams.  The mix included 1/2 Tbs olio and 1 Tbs honey.  The added honey gives my bulk rise a lot more volume at least 1/3 more compared to a mix without honey.  It must be the extra sugar in the honey giving the yeasties more energy!  Here is the finished loaf:

I will have to post the crumb shots later, as I have not been able to upload photos for the last while.

Bake ON!  Brian

Skibum's picture
Skibum

I forgot to down the photo resolution to 98 dpi - skibum moment, old skibum moment!  Very happy with crust, crumb and flavour on this bake:

We are having Indian Summer and I paddled the Bow River from Banff to Canmore yesterday.  In the spirit of Mr. dabrowman who recently shared a nice sunset shot, I offer a view from river level:


When I got home and retrieved my non-waterproof camera from my 'dry bag,' it came out wet with water pouring on the table and ultimately dead.  Ouch!  I am looking hard at the Nikon D3200 DSLR package with an 18 - 55mm zoom.  Any suggestions on this cause would be appreciated.  There are beautiful photos posted here by talented phogs!

Bake ON!  Brian

isand66's picture
isand66

Brian,

Beautiful looking Ciabatta...sorry to hear about your camera, but that is a amazing view from your boat for sure!

Thanks for sharing...wish I was on the river rather than on my way to the office!

Skibum's picture
Skibum

Ian for the kind words.   After 30 years of going to the office, I like my new 'office' way better!

Tried to kick things up to 92% and boy is the dough ever a sticky, gloppy mess even after a 1 hour autolyse.  Big mistake trying to S&F on the oiled counter, this was definitely S&F in the bowl and even with well oiled fingers and tools it was sticky.  I was going to do 6 S&F's with 10 minutes rest.  After the 3rd fold, the  phone rang and I spent some time talking to an old friend, so instead of 10 minutes it was more like 30.  At this point the dough began to feel like it had some gluten development.  I added the salt before the 5th fold and did the 5th and 6th on the oiled counter, 1 hour bulk and a final S&F.  I used a Tbs each of light rye and semolina for flavour, (thanks Julia!) olio and honey.  Great volume on the rise decent crumb, great crust and flavour.  I'm not sure the bread was any better than the 90% hydration which was WAY easier to work with and will be the formula I settle on.  I am going to kick it up a notch again today to 94%, just to see what happens and just for the challenge of working with wet dough.  This has been a great learning experience and I am sure al my other breads will benefit from this prictise.

I am thinking 11/2 hours on the autolyse and 20 minutes between the folds.  This should be interesting!  Today's bake:

 

Bake ON TF Loafers!  Brian

isand66's picture
isand66

Looks like you're getting some great results with your practice Ciabatta loaves!  Just a little bit of semolina goes a long way as your crumb looks nice and yellow.

Look forward to reading about your further adventures.

Ian

Skibum's picture
Skibum

Well this was surely a sticky, gloppy, messy dough to handle, even with well oiled fingers!  I used 11/2 hour autolyse, 4 S&F's in the bowl, added the salt, then 2 more S&F's on the well oiled counter, a 1 hour bulk rise and a final S&F, then into the fridge to retard.  Now both this and the 92% version produced good flavourful bread and good open, (really open) random crumb, but not significantly beter than the 90% hydration loaf, which was WAAAY easier to handle.  Time for another project.  Here is the loaf:

 

I received a library book today I had ordered called The Italian Baker, by Carol Field.  She has a recipe for Cocodrillo bread, using a 2 stage starter before the final mix.  If my math is correct, the hydration is over 100%.  The first starter is on the go now, the second starts in the morning and the bake will go on Sunday. She also has an awsome sounding raisin bread I am also starting.

All of this baking is making my neighbours very happy and I am sure I am getting karma points for sharing fresh baked bread.

Bake ON, TF Loafers!  Brian

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Brian,

The Italian Baker is a classic book held in high regard by professional bakers and with good reason.  It can be found in the larger personal libraries of most bakers whether home baker or professional.  Prior to the publication of this book there was little to nothing of its type.  Carol Field was very much at the forefront of changing the way bread was made,  becoming what is known today as artisan bread.  You selected the right book for pursuing high hydration doughs.  I took a look at the crocodile recipe and the hydration is indeed somewhere in the 100% neighborhood.  Good luck with this baking.

Jeff

Skibum's picture
Skibum

I had no idea it was a classic.  I was just browsing the catalogue and it seemed like an interesting title.  The recipes looked interestng at first browse.  I am looking forward to baking my way through some recipes!  Brian